First there was The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, published in the U.S. in 2008, which spawned dozens of forgettable copycat titles. Then came Gillian Flynn’s runaway 2012 best seller Gone Girl—and girl began popping up in titles in every permutation. Sometimes the word pays off (see 2015’s The Girl on the Train) and sometimes it doesn’t. It’s a numbers game, and the competition is steep: The five biggest publishers will put out some 30 such books this year, up from about 20 in 2015. Here are the seven girl books to know in 2016.
Girl + Miami madcap = Razor Girl
By Carl Hiaasen
A bumbling police officer tries to solve a murder involving a scammer nicknamed Razor Girl ($28; penguinrandomhouse.com).
Girl + bildungsroman = The Girls
By Emma Cline
An impressionable teen falls in with a violent, Manson Family–like cult in 1969 ($16; amazon.com).
Girl + Shakespeare = Vinegar Girl
By Anne Tyler
This modern Taming of the Shrew touches on marriage, science, and immigration ($25; penguinrandomhouse.com).
Girl + thriller = All the Missing Girls
By Megan Miranda
The Girl on the Train for 2016. Two girls, a decade apart, go missing in a rural town ($17; amazon.com).
Girl + Nordic noir = The Crow Girl
By Erik Axl Sund
After a boy is brutally murdered in Stockholm, the investigation tests a detective and a psychotherapist ($20; amazon.com).
Girl + Wall Street = The Girl From Home
By Adam Mitzner
A hedge funder suddenly loses it all and falls for a troubled former classmate ($18; amazon.com).
Girl + small-town drama = The Flood Girls
By Richard Fifield
Newly sober Rachel returns to her Montana hometown, and no one is happy to see her ($17; amazon.com).